Friday, January 27, 2006

Veggie Burger Recipe Reviews

The next review party will be this weekend and should be on Vegan Freak Radio within the next couple weeks. Since it has been so long since the Chocolate Review I thought I would share a few Veggie Burger recipe reviews. I have never made a Veggie Burger from scratch so a few of my friends from the Vegan Freak forums have come to my rescue and have put together a review of their favorite recipes.

Check back soon, I will be posting a sneak peak for the veggie burgers I will have at the party.

Lindsay's Burger Review
If I make "veggie" burgers from scratch, these are usually the ones I make. They aren't fancy, and they aren't really that healthy, but they're good and they're vegan. I definitely like them better than Boca or Gardenburger because they just taste processed. You know what I mean. Plus, the pre-cooked mix tastes good.

Black Bean Burgers
1 can Organic Black Beans
2 cups of cooked rice
Breadcrumbs (you know, enough)
1 medium Onion, cut small and sautéed in some oil or Earth Balance
Herbs (to taste)
Extra-virgin Olive Oil (for taste and stability)
Vegetable Oil (for frying)

Sautee the onion.
Add all of the other ingredients together in a bowl until it looks and tastes tasty and can be formed into patties. If you like, put some breadcrumbs on the outside of the patties for crispiness.
Fry patties in vegetable oil.

Sautee the onion.
Add all of the other ingredients together in a bowl until it looks and tastes tasty and can be formed into patties. If you like, put some breadcrumbs on the outside of the patties for crispiness.
Fry patties in vegetable oil.

Marysuesylw's Burger Review
I like this recipe a lot. Everyone at my house loves them, even my I-hate-veggieburgers-they're-gross daughter. It is a little fussy to make, but the results are very good. The end result is fragrant and grainy rather than "meat like." The texture of the interior does tend to be a little soft--not chewy--but if you have a good crust there's a nice contrast. I have frozen patties and cooked them later with no noticeable loss of flavor or texture. A burger maker will help, especially if you make a large double or triple batch. When cooking, be careful to use a low or medium-low heat for a longer period to get a nice crust, rather than blasting them--they can scorch. I can envision kicking up the original recipe with mexican or curry seasonings in the mix, but I haven't tried it yet.

Ultimate Veggie Burgers
3/4 cup Dried Brown Lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Bulgur
2 tbs Vegetable Oil
2 cups Onions, chopped fine
1/2 cup Celery, chopped fine
1 small Leek, white and light green parts only, chopped fine
2 medium cloves Garlic, minced or pressed
1 lb. Cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced about 1/4 inch thick (about 6 1/2 cups)
1 cup raw unsalted Cashew
1/3 cup Mayonnaise
2 cups Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Ground Black Pepper
12 burger buns for serving

1. Bring 3 cups water, lentils, and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in medium saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until lentils are just beginning to fall apart, about 25 minutes. Drain in fine-mesh strainer. Line baking sheet with triple layer paper towels and spread drained lentils over. Gently pat lentils dry with additional paper towels; cool lentils to room temperature.

2. While lentils simmer, bring 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil in small saucepan. Stir bulgur wheat into boiling water and cover immediately; let stand off heat until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in fine-mesh strainer; use rubber spatula to press out excess moisture. Transfer bulgur to medium bowl and set aside.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, celery, leek, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Spread vegetable mixture on second baking sheet to cool; set aside. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty skillet; heat over high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Spread mushrooms on baking sheet with vegetable mixture; cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

4. Process cashews in food processor until finely chopped, about fifteen 1-second pulses (do not wash food processor blade or bowl); stir into bowl with bulgur along with cooled lentils, vegetable-mushroom mixture, and mayonnaise. Transfer half of mixture to now-empty food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, fifteen to twenty 1-second pulses; mixture should be cohesive but roughly textured. Transfer processed mixture to large bowl; repeat with remaining unprocessed mixture and combine with first batch. Stir in panko, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Line baking sheet with paper towels. Divide mixture into 12 portions, about 1/2 cup each, shaping each into tightly packed patty, 4 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick; set patties on baking sheet; paper towels will absorb excess moisture. (Patties can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days.)

To cook on the grill: Build medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat gas grill on high. Using tongs, wipe grate with wad of paper towels dipped lightly in vegetable oil. Grill burgers, without moving them, until well browned, about 5 minutes; flip burgers and continue cooking until well browned on second side, about 5 minutes. Serve.

To cook on the stovetop: Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering; cook burgers, 4 at a time, until well browned, about 4 minutes per side, lowering heat to medium if browning too quickly. Repeat with additional oil and burgers. Serve. (Cooked burgers can be kept warm in 250-degree oven for up to 30 minutes.)

To Freeze: With freezing and defrosting, the patties increase in moisture content; it is therefore necessary to add more breadcrumbs before freezing. For each burger to be frozen, add 1 teaspoon panko or 1/2 teaspoon plain bread crumbs to the mixture before shaping. Thaw frozen patties overnight in the refrigerator on a triple layer of paper towels covered loosely with plastic wrap. Before cooking, pat the patties dry with paper towels and reshape to make sure they are tightly packed and cohesive.


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